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Small clubs made their mark this weekend charging their Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) through the surf at Cape Hawke SLSC.

The scene was set on pristine One Mile Beach on the state’s Lower North Coast for the third round of the 2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Premiership Series.

Fortunately for the 20 NSW clubs who travelled to this weekend’s event, the large south swell was held off by the headland to ensure competition could be run.

Local club Forster SLSC made a breakthrough in round three. The team secured a number of top-three placing’s in their most successful event this season including great skill by their Rookie Mass Rescue team.

Kiama Downs SLSC continued to dominate with 10 finals wins from 23 races this weekend. After this round the South Coast club continue to lead the premiership point score with three-from-three event wins going into the final round at Caves Beach on 15-16 June.

The team has gone from strength-to-strength this season as they continue to power through all divisions; male, female and mixed, holding final round host club Caves Beach SLSC at bay.

Cape Hawke President Gary Curtis said he’s proud the club can continue its legacy of hosting IRB events since their first in NSW Country IRB Championships 1986.

“We had a strong involvement with IRB racing back in the day," said Curtis. "We’re now on the path to rebuilding teams for competition, it’s an exciting developmental time for us.”

The Lower North Coast is the smallest branch in NSW with some of the smallest clubs in the state. Curtis says that the support and camaraderie between the clubs allow each to lend experience and expertise to grow teams for the benefit of everyone.

“We don’t have enough people to field an IRB team this year, but a couple of our strong and skilled members are competing with our neighbour club Forster SLSC. We’re working together to drive participation in the sport for both of our clubs.”

Hosting an event like this has many benefits for smaller clubs said Curtis, “For us it’s a way of bringing the club together, getting everyone to work together. And it’s not just rewarding for our club but also economically for our community with so many people coming into town for the weekend.”

The final round of the 2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership at Caves Beach SLSC 15-16 June will determine the winning premiership club, ahead of the State Championships at Cape Hawke 29-30 June.

Race formats in the 2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series include;

  • IRB Rescue

  • IRB Mass Rescue

  • IRB Teams Rescue

  • IRB Rescue Tube

  • IRB Relay

At the end of the four-event rounds, the club with the top points will be awarded the title of NSW Premiers.

*2 November 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary since IRBs were introduced to Surf Life Saving.

Round 3 Point Score

  1. ​Kiama Downs SLSC 139

  2. Caves Beach SLSC 81

  3. Terrigal 76

  4. North Cronulla 67

  5. Queenscliff 52

  6. South Maroubra 50 

  7. Nobbys 39

  8. Forster 36

  9. North Avoca 34

  10. Umina 18

  11. Newport 16

  12. Coogee 12

  13. Woonona 12

  14. Avalon Beach 11

  15. Helensburgh-Stanwell Park 4

  16. Maroubra 0

  17. Mona Vale 0

  18. Bondi 0 

  19. Stockton 0

Race Results Round 3

  • 35+ Years Mixed Rescue Tube: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Queenscliff, 3 Caves Beach

  • Open Male Rescue Tube: 1 Queenscliff, 2 Caves Beach, 3 Umina

  • Open Female Rescue Tube: 1 Caves Beach, 2 Kiama Downs, 3 Forster

  • 45+ Years Mixed Rescue Tube: 1 Newcastle, 2 Caves Beach, 3 Nobbys

  • U23 Mixed Rescue Tube: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 North Cronulla, 3 Terrigal

  • Open Mixed Relay: 1 North Cronulla, 2 Terrigal, 3 Newport

  • Rookie Mass Rescue: 1 North Avoca, 2 Woonona, 3 Forster

  • U23 Mixed Mass Rescue: 1 South Maroubra, 2 Woonona, 3 Umina

  • 45+ Years Mixed IRB Mass Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Newcastle, 3 Nobbys

  • Open Female Mass Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 North Cronulla, 3 Terrigal

  • Open Mass Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs Red, 2 Kiama Downs Black, 3 Terrigal

  • 35+ Years Mixed Mass Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Forster, 3 Caves Beach

  • 35+ Years Mixed Teams Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Forster, 3 Coogee

  • Open Female Team Rescue: 1 Caves Beach, 2 Kiama Downs, 3 Terrigal

  • Open Male Team Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 South Maroubra, 3 Terrigal

  • 45+ Years Mixed Teams Rescue: 1 Terrigal, 2 North Avoca, 3 North Cronulla

  • U23 Mixed Teams Rescue: 1 South Maroubra, 2 Kiama Downs, 3 Newcastle

  • U23 Mixed Surf Rescue: 1 South Maroubra, 2 Kiama Downs, 3 South Maroubra

  • Rookie Surf Rescue: 1 North Avoca, 2 Forster, 3 Coogee

  • 45+ Years Surf Rescue: 1 Newcastle, 2 Avalon Beach, 3 North Avoca

  • 35+ Years Mixed IRB Surf Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Caves Beach, 3 Nobbys

  • Open Male Rescue: 1 North Cronulla, 2 Queenscliff, 3 Terrigal

  • Open Female Surf Race: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Terrigal, 3 North Cronulla

Accumulated Point Score After Round 3

2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Rounds

NSW IRB Championships: 29-30 June 2019 Cape Hawke SLSC


Monday 19 June 2019